Walking and flowers on Crete: In the spring, the mountains are like a sea of flowers. Eveywhere are growing wild flowers. During our hikes on Crete we always see a lot of different flowers and plants. Each season you can smell the lovely scent of wild growing flowers on Crete. You will not only find special wild flowers high in the mountains. You will be surprised that you can find al lot of special flowers everywhere on Crete.
Flora of Crete: The flora of Crete is very diverse; more than 2,000 different types of plants and flowers grow and many of them only occur on Crete. You can find the rarest species mainly in the mountains. Because Crete is situated south with generally a high temperature, there are blooming flowers all year round. The island is also seen as a true paradise for the flower lover.
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When is the best time for flower walks on Crete: It is difficult to say what is the best time for flower walks in Crete, because there are flowers all year round. Every season has its own charms. Spring on Crete is the period with the most blooming flowers. It then looks like a blanket of flowers that has been laid over the island. However, the altitude above sea level is of great influence; the higher above sea level, the later the spring begins. In March and April, it is already springtime in the coastal areas, but up in the mountains this will be later due to the snow.
The nature in the higher regions only starts to awaken once the snow has melted in the mountains and as a result many flowers bloom there in May and June. The periods with rain are done, so those areas get water thanks to the melting water from the mountain tops. The extremely dry summers on Crete, ensure certain flowers and plants grow on the island, that cannot survive in Western Europe. Especially many herbs grow and bloom in the summer thanks to the drought, the heat of the sun and the rocky soil.
As soon as autumn according the calendar start, you do not really notice this on Crete. It actually is like summer and a sporadic rain shower does not change that much. For nature, autumn looks more like a cocktail of all seasons. Different plants get flowers for a second time, but also the first winter plants show up as soon as there is some rain. Where nature in Western Europe is in its hibernation, the winter for Crete means the beginning of growth and flowering. In winter it can sometimes rain and even snow up in the mountains. But this is just enough for nature to awaken.
Which flowers and plants grow on Crete: There are so many different types of flowers and plants on Crete and we obviously cannot name them all. As mentioned earlier, the growth of many plants starts in the winter. The crocus and autumn crocus (colchicum) bloom on Crete only in the winter, but also the first anemones and orchids can already be seen. The last two are in full bloom in the spring. There are even 69 species of orchids on the island. In addition, there are countless flowers in spring, such as daisies, marigolds, plum hyacinths, poppy and gladioli. For the real enthusiast we organize walks where these can be admired.
In the summer, everything seems to be dry due to the heat and the lack of rainwater. But during our flower walk in Crete, we can show you that many plants are still blooming. Along the coastline specific thistles bloom that grow nowhere else in Europe. Along the side of the main road and elsewhere in nature there are many oleander bushes. These high bushes come with beautiful pink and white flowers. Furthermore, in the mountains you can find the lily and especially many herbs bloom in the summer.
Herbs in the nature of Crete: During our walks in nature, you smell every time different herbs. The warmer the weather, the stronger the smell and thus the taste of the herbs. The most famous herbs are sage and thyme, which like to grow on the same mountain slopes. Oregano, marjoram, and basil are also growing on the island. Besides those there are many other herbs, such as malotira from which we can make the only real mountain tea from Crete. A number of herbs are endemic of which dittany is the most famous one. In ancient times, this herb was used as an astringent, but it also has therapeutic effects for the stomach. The locals know where you can find the best dittany.
Trees on Crete: The olive tree is by far the most common tree in Greece. In Crete you can see olive trees almost everywhere. This tree does not lose its leaves and blooms in the spring. There are also eucalyptus trees, carob trees, citrus trees, cypresses, pine trees and palm trees in Cretan nature.
Walks on Crete: We organise several flowers hikes every year. But also a lot of other walks. You can always email us for the right time for special flowers, like orchids or irises.